I'm going to start by once again expanding the metaphor from music to sound event (something readers have already written to me that they appreciate). By expanding the metaphor from music to sound event we open ourselves up to a much wider range of possibilities, and what I'm thinking of is jingles (so seasonal pun intended) and more exactly, what the industry knows as earworms (U of Cincinnati's Marketing Professor James Kellaris has done some interesting work on earworms).
A good use of autoloading sound files is to push an earworm when a site visitor loads a branded site or mouses over a brand. Some earworm examples are:
- "I'd like to teach the world to sing" - Just that, nothing more, and softly. You want to bring a smile of memory, not a drop off of annoyance.
- "Can you hear me now?" - Again, nothing more.
These types of branded sound events are acceptable as autoloads because most visitors will already associate the sound event with the site their browsing or the product image they just hovered their mouse over. This type of autoloaded sound event can be used because visitors already familiar with the brand will accept the sound event as part of the brand experience and an integral part of their browsing experience rather than an interruption.
More to follow.